As hundreds of thousands of Texans proceed struggling by way of a dayslong winter storm with out energy or potable water, Gov. Greg Abbott supplied few particulars Wednesday on after they can anticipate their conditions to enhance.
In Abbott’s first press convention since winter climate battered the state’s energy infrastructure, the governor and different state officers largely deferred residents to state and native non-emergency numbers. Some 2.7 million households have been nonetheless with out energy Wednesday morning.
Abbott stated he had ordered pure fuel producers in Texas to cease promoting gasoline exterior of the state and to as an alternative promote it to the state’s energy mills in an try to assist restore electrical energy to hundreds of thousands of residents nonetheless with out it. Abbott additionally stated extra energy is being introduced on-line to get folks’s electrical energy again. When requested which areas ought to anticipate restored energy or when that will occur, the governor stated he didn’t know.
“Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t know when suffering Texans will have water or power again” was first printed by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media group that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public coverage, politics, authorities and statewide points.
“That is information that has not been provided to me,” he stated.
After Wednesday’s press convention, the governor tweeted that energy had been restored to roughly 1.6 million properties in the course of the day. It was unclear whether or not Abbott was counting residents who had been with out energy for days, have been experiencing rolling outages or had briefly lost electrical energy Wednesday because of extra native points, akin to energy traces being down. A spokesperson for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas stated they didn’t have extra info to offer and a spokesperson for the governor didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra info.
Officials additionally stated there have been greater than 300 warming facilities working throughout the state that have been being run primarily by native governments, and that they have been working so as to add extra websites as wanted. Officials urged folks dwelling in cities name 311 in the event that they need assistance finding warming facilities and residents in rural areas to name 211 for help. They additionally referred residents with web entry to tdem.texas.gov/warm.
Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, listed a litany of businesses which can be offering help all through the state. But he famous that icy roads proceed to hamper authorities entities’ means to get water, meals and different provides to folks. Kidd didn’t present particulars on what areas these are.
“There are some places that the roads are so bad that we can’t get to them,” he stated.
Toby Baker, govt director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, stated 7 million Texans reside beneath boil-water notices — and that quantity is predicted to extend.
“It is an ongoing issue, and this number is probably going to grow over the next day or two,” he stated.
Abbott additionally stated he deliberate to ease licensing rules for plumbers in an effort to satisfy an anticipated spike in demand for folks to repair water pipes broken by the frigid temperatures and urged residents begin lining up plumbers as quickly as doable. He additionally instructed residents to work with their insurance coverage corporations on any harm from damaged water pipes.
“This is a once-in-every-120-year cold front that we have to respond to,” Abbott stated.
This article initially appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/17/greg-abbott-winter-storm/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and interesting Texans on state politics and coverage. Learn extra at texastribune.org.